Sports Administration Degree Programs with Career Info

Feb 22, 2021

What is Sports Administration?

You may be wondering, what can I do with a sports administration degree? Sports administration addresses the business side of sports organizations, including college and professional athletic programs. A sports administration professional may be focused on business financials, sports marketing, or program administration for a sports organization or recreation facility.

Sports Administration Degree Description

A sports administration degree program provides a student with a background in business administration, including financial and managerial education, as well as the sports industry, including areas such as fitness and athletic program management. A bachelor's or master's degree in sports administration will meet sports administrator education requirements.

Bachelor's Degree in Sports Administration

Event management, facility management, marketing and sports law are among the relevant topics addressed in a 4-year degree program's curriculum. Many programs require completion of an internship or practicum. Some allow students to choose a concentration, such as coaching.

A high school diploma or GED is the primary admission requirement for a bachelor's degree program. Additional requirements may include taking a semester of undergraduate general education courses and passing with at least a 'C' average.

English, accounting, economics and courses in the arts and humanities may be part of the general education component of a bachelor's degree program. Courses specific to sports administration might include:

  • Sports administration introduction
  • Kinesiology introduction
  • Sports psychology
  • Health and recreation program planning
  • Sports law and ethics

Master's Degree in Sports Administration

What is sports administration degree at the graduate level? In a master's program, students can expect to take courses emphasizing upper management responsibilities and organizational leadership. Some programs offer a dual degree option in business administration and sports administration or law and sports administration. A master's degree is typically earned in two years.

Applicants to a sports administration master's degree program need to have completed a bachelor's degree with a grade point average from 2.7-3.0. The degree may be in any subject, but some programs may require enrollees to take business courses if their degree wasn't in a business-related subject.

The core component of a master's degree program may feature business administration courses with a sports emphasis. Students are required to complete a practicum and take electives like sports administration research or modern sports issues. Sports administration courses may include:

  • Sports marketing and promotion
  • Contract negotiation
  • Media relations
  • Sports finance and fundraising
  • College and professional sports
  • Sports research and statistics

What Jobs Can You Get with a Sports Administration Degree?

What can you do with a sports administration degree? Graduates of a bachelor's program in sports management have leadership, problem-solving, management, communication and critical-thinking skills that are necessary to work in the sports industry. Possible employment opportunities for bachelor's degree holders include:

  • High School Soccer Coach
  • Facility Manager
  • Assistant Athletic Director, Compliance
  • Event Coordinator
  • Sports Camp Director

Graduates who have completed a master's degree may be qualified for high-level sports administration careers. A master's degree program in sports administration focuses on leadership and business administration skills. Examples of sports administration jobs that a person with a master's degree in sports administration may pursue include:

  • Athletic Director
  • General Manager
  • Athletics Director - Higher Education
  • Facilities Director
  • Media Relations Director
  • Vice President of Finance/Accounting

Sports marketing executive speaking at a governmental conference. A sports executive is one of the potential careers you can pursue in sports administration.
Sports executive

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Earning a degree in sports administration qualifies degree holders for a range of positions in recreation, school athletics and professional athletics, and jobs are growing in these areas. For example, during the years of 2019-2029 jobs for recreation workers will grow 10% (much faster than average for all occupations), and employment of college and university athletic directors - categorized as postsecondary education administrators - will grow 4% (average for all occupations), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov.).

The table below provides the salary ranges and the average salary for various sports administration jobs.

Position Title Salary Range * Average Salary *
High School Soccer Coach $ 33,143 - $ 55,924 $ 41,208
Facility Manager $ 56,689 - $ 74,086 $ 65,961
Assistant Athletic Director, Compliance $ 57,649 - $ 92,525 $ 72,873
Event Coordinator $ 37,369 - $ 56,163 $ 45,666
Sports Camp Director $34,689 - $ 52,239 $ 42,201
Athletic Director $ 56,829 - $ 64,474 $ 60,579
General Manager $ 52,273 - $ 80,486 $ 63,222
Athletic Director - Higher Education $92,049 - $160,147 $118,464
Facilities Director $114,445 - $149,426 $131,172
Media Relations Director $65,390 - $94,785 $78,779
Vice President of Finance/Accounting $101,368 - $132,215 $117,018

Source: *Salary.com, January 2021

Sports administration degree programs at both the bachelor's and master's levels give students training in the fields of business and organizational management. Some bachelor's degree graduates can take such jobs as high school coaches or facility managers, while others may pursue master's degrees to prepare for employment in high-level management and administration positions.

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